How To De-Glutenize Your Kitchen
Getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease can be overwhelming, daunting, and confusing. It is a lot to take in and there’s a lot of work to get done in order to start living a gluten free lifestyle.
On top of educating yourself and others, attending your much needed doctor appointments, and learning how to read ingredients labels effectively, you also need to clean out your own kitchen.
And I am not just talking about a wipe down…
No, sir. I am talking about getting down and dirty with it, scrubbing every last surface, and cleaning out every single nook and cranny. It is time consuming so make sure you put on something comfy that you’re willing to get dirty and start busting those jams!
HERE WE GO!
Step 1: Throw away all the food you currently have that contains gluten. To toss in my two cents, compost whatever is biodegradable if this is an option for you, and take all unopened and canned items to your local food bank – they will be grateful for it.
If you have others in your house that will continue eating gluten, rather than throw away this food, set it aside for now. Once you clean your entire kitchen, find a dedicated spot for gluten-containing foods. Use only this cabinet moving forward for any items that do contain gluten.
Furthermore, depending on how sensitive you are, even if you are creating a shared kitchen space, I would highly recommend eliminating all gluten-containing flours. Flours can be airborne and they can settle onto seemingly clean surfaces without you knowing any better, both of which can make you sick.
One last note on tossing gluten-containing foods, don’t forget the condiments! Any jar of peanut butter or jam or mayonnaise or mustard (and so on) that has been in contact with gluten (i.e. a knife used for spreading these condiments on bread) is contaminated! Toss them or clearly label them (SEE STEP #7).
Step 2: Now that all the gluten is removed from your kitchen, it is time to empty out your fridge, freezer, all your cabinets, and every single drawer AND WASH THEM
Yes, I am crazy. Yes, this is going to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r BUT you are going to be thanking yourself when your kitchen is completely gluten free and you feel fantastic!
I washed my kitchen three times over with the following solutions:
First, I used a combination of ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol and 3 cups water. I put these two ingredients into a spray bottle, shook it up, and let loose on my kitchen. I sprayed and scrubbed the ins and outs of every single surface I laid my eyes on. Make sure you have all your windows open and any fans you have available turned on! Rubbing alcohol has a super strong smell and can make you fell lightheaded and give you a headache. Keep your kitchen well ventilated while cleaning.
Next, I cleaned all the same surfaces but with Clorox Cleaner + Bleach.
Lastly, I scrubbed down all the same surfaces one last time with good ol’ fashioned hot, soapy water.
I know several celiacs do not go to these extremes. However, it is what worked for me to feel completely safe cooking, baking, and eating in my kitchen daily. Do what serves you and your family best
Step 3: Wash all of your dishes and silverware through the dishwasher before placing them back in your cabinets. As mentioned in Step #1, gluten can be airborne meaning that it could be resting on your clean plates, bowls, silverware, and so on as we speak! Now that your cabinets are clean, it is the perfect time to run everything through the dishwasher before putting them back into the cabinets.
Step 4: Wipe down the outsides of all surfaces and appliances as well as bottles and jars.
Just like you did in Step #2 when deep cleaning the inside of everything, expect this time
you’re cleaning the outside of everything!
For jars and the like, I skipped the 3-step process used above and just wiped everything down with Clorox cleaning wipes.
Keep in mind that once you handle gluten, everything you touch thereafter before washing your hands can contain gluten. For best results, I’d just recommend wiping down everything you can think of!
Step 5: Replace all plastic and wood items as well your toaster. Gluten loves to hide out in cracks and crevices. I’d recommend replacing any plastic and wood cutting boards. If you have plastic Tupperware or utensils such as spatulas, I’d replace those too.
I know many celiac who choose to replace everything and others who only replace items with known cracks where gluten can get in. Do what feels right for you and makes you feel 110% safe eating in your own kitchen.
Lastly, replacing your toaster is a must!!! That thing if FULL of breads crumbs, it is crawling in gluten! Replace it ASAP.
Step 6: Clean your oven and microwave and fan and light fixtures and walls and any other surface we haven’t discussed yet. Yes, we are treating your kitchen like it is a radioactive wasteland! But trust me, if you do all of this well and good the first time, you will not need to go to such extremes again (unless you have a shared kitchen space in which you always need to be more cautious).
Step 7: Sweep and mop. Now that your entire kitchen has been cleaned from head to toe, the last thing to do is wipe up any trace of gluten that has made its way to the floor.
Step 8: Use masking tape to label anything in the kitchen that still contains gluten. Make it obvious so you don’t accidently use it when cooking or baking.
Phew, you’re done, YOU DID IT! Congratulations on your new unbelievably clean
gluten free kitchen!!!
Lick the Bowl, It’s Gluten Free!
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